The family-run business already donates its specialist line of natural pet food to over 40 rescue centres across the UK, including Greenacres Animal Rescue Centre in Pembrokeshire.
Now, Burns is going the extra mile by piloting an obedience training project at Greenacres, designed to help the rescue centre’s long-term dog residents learn basic skills to give them a better chance of being re-homed.
The five-week training course is currently in progress and teaches basic skills such as sitting, standing and recall. As part of the process, dogs will also practise getting used to a car environment ready for the journey to their new home.
Katie Gardener and Natasha Rudge, who work in the community department at Burns, are leading on the training. Both Katie and Natasha have completed a number of dog training courses including IMDT which champions force-free dog training through positive reinforcement and the pair are working towards full accreditation.
Sarah Ellis, who heads up dog training at Burns and is overseeing the project, said: “We are giving dogs the basic skills needed to adapt to family life, thus improving their chances of being rehomed. It’s so rewarding to see the dogs progress week on week and engage with the training. Hopefully with this extra boost they will get a second chance at happiness in a loving, family home.”
Greenacres Rescue Centre has been running since 2008 and has rehomed over 10,000 animals in the last decade.
Commenting on the difference Burns’ training and ongoing food donations has made, Mikey Lawlor, Green Acres Animal Rescue Manager said: “The help and support is immeasurable! Having a food sponsor has meant that all of our animals are fed an excellent quality food constantly, which has been obvious in their condition and behaviour. We cannot imagine going back to the old way of feeding. Burns has helped in other ways financially with appeals, even adopting a Kunekune pig called Faith.
“More recently, Burns has helped our rescue dogs by conducting staff and dog training with the trainers from the Burns by Your Side reading to dogs scheme – it’s all been simply amazing. We are eternally grateful and hope to continue to work together in the future.”
Burns Pet Nutrition recently announced a £1M charity donation to mark its 25th anniversary. The pet food maker has its own in-house charity, The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation, which is committed to improving the lives of people and pets in the local community. Business Owner, John Burns wishes to develop the charity further over the coming years.
In a recent interview he confirmed this by saying:“I have decided that the company should be a force for good. I want Burns to not only be known for natural pet food, but also for establishing and maintaining a legacy of good causes in the community.”